November 2018

 

The second edition of Digital Marketing Award honored 78 digital campaigns through a grand award gala on Saturday. An initiative of Bangladesh Brand Forum, Digital Marketing Award 2018 was presented by Meghna Group of Industries. The award gala was attended by 500 digital marketing enthusiasts. The awards were given across 16 categories, in three ranks – Grand Prix, Gold and Silver. The event was powered by Content Matters and was organized in association with The Daily Star.

Digital Marketing Award is the only accolade for digital works in Bangladesh. This year, a total of 456 nominations were submitted for the award. Four jury panels’ shortlisted 202 works and another four jury panels selected the ultimate 78 winners. There were 16 Grand Prix awards, 39 Gold awards, and 23 Silver awards.

Grand Prix for the Best Integrated Digital Campaign was won by Analyzen & Mindshare for their campaign Lux Super Star 2018. This campaign also won two more golds in separate categories.

The highest number of awards, 4 gold, for a single campaign were won by X, for their campaign Robi Bijoy Itihash. Furthermore, Coca-Cola Nikhoj Shobder Khoje by Grey Advertising Bangladesh won three gold awards, second highest for a single campaign, along with Lux Super Star 2018.

The highest number of awards by a single agency were won by Analyzen. They won 15 award individually and 3 more awards jointly with Mindshare. Starcom Bangladesh won 2 Award for their special project of Zakat Calculator.

Digital Marketing Award 2018 was preceded by 5th Digital Marketing Summit. Initiated in 2014 by Bangladesh Brand Forum, the Digital Marketing Summit is the apex platform for country’s digital marketers. This year’s summit which was attended by around 400 professionals. Theme for the summit was ‘Delving Deep into Digital’.

Also spoke at the event, Md Mohiuddin, General Manager, Brands, Meghna Group of Industries.

Shariful Islam, Founder & MD of Bangladesh Brand Forum inaugurated the summit. He said, “Digital is going to make or break any brand. We are just scratching the surface of broader digital echo system. Through Digital Marketing Summit, we are trying to share different perspective from around the world and raise some question in everyone’s mind which will be the only way to figure out this new phenomenon.” Also spoke at the event, Mr. Asif Iqbal, Executive Director, Marketing, Meghna Group of Industries.

The fifth edition had 5 global speakers, who came from different regions of the world and shared knowledge. Alongside, there were 22 local experts who discussed on multiple topics. Multiple panel discussions, breakouts, insights and many more engagements gave the summit premises a school-like ambience. Experts discussed on how to use data to craft digital marketing strategy, how to prepare digital ad budget, communicate responsibly with digital consumers and much more.

Keynote speakers were – Oobah Butler, Director& Founder, The Number 1 Agency, UK; Dr. Donald Patrick Lim, Country CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network, Philippines; Yogesh Shroff, Commercial Director, Exports and E-commerce, Nivea India Pvt Ltd.; Rajan Srinivasan, Founder & CEO, Spiral Content Solutions (Scatter); and Dolly Jha, Executive Director, Nielsen India.

An initiative of Bangladesh Brand Forum, Digital Marketing Summit was presented by Meghna Group of Industries and powered by Content Matters; in association with – The Daily Star; supported by – Eskimi; Strategic Partner – Bangladesh Creative Forum and Association for Information System, North South University; Knowledge Partner – MSB; Event Partner – Le Méridien, Dhaka; TV Partner – GTV; PR Partner – Backpage PR; Radio Partner- Radio Today.

 

Bangladesh prominent  conglomerates,  Meghna Group of Industries (MGI), won one of the the prestigious Primaduta Awards 2018 conferred by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia for promoting trade between the Indonesia and Bangladesh.

The Awards were symbolically presented by the President of Indonesia HE Mr Joko Widodo during the opening ceremony of the 33rd Trade Expo Indonesia in Jakarta on 24 October 2018 and was received by the Indonesian Ambassadors on behalf of the buyers, importers, distributors and selling agents who were the winners.

In a beatiful simple ceremony at the Embassy of Indonesia in Dhaka, the Indonesian Ambassador  for Bangladesh H.E.  Ms Rina Soemarno officially handed over the Primaduta Award to Mr. Mostafa Kamal, Chairman of MGI. She expressed that the Award is an appreciation from the Indonesian Government for the company’s strong commitment on importing  Indonesian products for many years with a significant growth every year.

“MGI has been importing refined palm oil, hardwood pulp, and clinker from Indonesia for many years, the volume and value of each product increases every year,” the Indonesian Ambassador said. MGI is a loyal and significant buyer of Indonesian products. The trade with MGI makes up a substantial part of the total trade volume between Indonesia and Bangladesh every year. “The total trade between Indonesia and Bangladesh in 2017 amounted to USD 1.67 billion. Of that amount, MGI contributed about one third,” the Ambassador discloses.

“I sincerely thank Mr. Mostafa Kamal and the Board of Directors of MGI for continuously strengthening the import performance with Indonesian exporter and supplier for many years. The Primaduta Award is a token of apreciation from the Government of Indonesia to MGI,” Ambassador Rina Soemarno said.

She expressed the hope that the Award served as a motivation for MGI and other Bangladeshi companies to increase their imports from Indonesia and maintain a strong relationship with their Indonesian partners. The ceremony to present the Primaduta Award 2018 to Meghna Group of Industries was attended by dozens of Bangladeshi businesspeople, government officials, and the media.

The Primaduta Award is one of the Indonesian Government`s programs to boost the growth of Indonesian exports to global markets. During the ceremonial Primaduta Award dinner, Ambassador Rina express the hope that fellow Bangladeshi buyers would be committed to improving their value of import on Indonesian products and be selected to be awarded the Primaduta Award in the coming years.

During her remarks, Ambassador Rina shares that the trade relations between Indonesia-Bangladesh continues to grow. In 2017, the two countries’ trade volume reached an all time high of USD 1.67 billion. In August of 2018 the trade volume have reached USD 1.34 billion, a growth of almost 28% compared to the same period last year. This indicates that demands for Indonesian products in Bangladesh are growing and robust.

The Government of Indonesia in 2018 awarded  42 buyers from 24 countries in recognition of their roles in boosting their country’s trade with Indonesia . The Awards were conferred during Trade Expo Indonesia 2018, the largest B to B Exhibition in Indonesia. The 33rd TEI was held on 24-28 October 2018 in ICE BSD in Tangerang City, near Jakarta, carried the theme “Creating Products for Global Opportunities” to promote quality products made in Indonesia for the global market.

Denmark’s development strategy in Bangladesh has a special focus on labour markets and health and safety in the workplace.

Denmark’s focus in this area is supported by Danish Ministry of Employment and facilitated by the Embassy of Denmark in Bangladesh which is working with Bangladesh’s Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Department of Inspection of Factories and Enterprises through a project called ‘Improving the Health and Safety (OSH) of Workers in Bangladesh through the Strengthening of Labour Authorities’.

Phase 1 (2016-2018) of the project consisted of capacity development of the inspectors in Bangladesh’s Department for Inspection of Factories and Enterprises. Phase two (2018-2021) of the project will continue capacity building and further enable DIFE and the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MOLE) to implement the solutions and knowledge acquired during phase one. H.E. Ambassador Winnie Estrup Petersen announced the launch of Phase 2 at a hotel in Dhaka on November 15, 2018.

H.E. Ambassador Winnie said at the launch that, ‘With the graduation (to a middle income country), Bangladesh will lose benefits in terms of low interest financing and free access to the EU market. Denmark stands by Bangladesh in this quest to prepare itself for a smooth graduation taking into account the many challenges associated with the new status…We believe that the labour market will play an important role in the continued development of Bangladesh, both in terms of growth and investments and also in terms of ensuring stability, democracy, and poverty reduction.’

Ms. Afroza Khan, Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and Employment Bangladesh, who was a special guest at the launch ceremony, said ‘Bangladesh is committed to promote OSH culture in the workplace. In line with this various legal and administrative measures have taken place during the last few years. National OSH council is established for ensuring safety. Government started ‘OSH Good Practices Award’ from 2018 and is going to establish an OSH academy under a self-funded project costing tk 1650 million. In the first phase of the project supported by Denmark 143 labor inspectors were trained on construction safety, ergonomics safety, machinery safety, chemical safety and accident prevention.  The second phase will strengthen the ongoing initiatives in order to deliver better inspection services.’

Mr. Mohammed Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan, Inspector General in DIFE and Ms. Ida Hannibal, Director of International Affairs at the Danish Ministry of Employment also spoke at the event.

 

Startup Dhaka premiered it’s second documentary, Startup Dhaka Part 2 at ICT Tower on 11th November to an audience that included startup founders, startup community members, and sponsors. Honorable Kazi M. Aminul Islam, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), Prime Minister’s Office was present at the event as the chief guest. IDLC Finance was the presenting sponsor, with supporting sponsor Microsoft Bangladesh and Startup Bangladesh hosting the premiere of the film.

Kazi M. Aminul Islam expressed his excitement about the documentary and the prospects of investment opportunities in Bangladesh. He said, “A lot of groundwork needs to be laid for startup ecosystem development. We need to do more. Access to finance is a big hurdle that has to overcome. We need to develop the equity class, and gradually shift our dependence from debt instruments. The chain of equity investment is largely undeveloped. We need to replicate what we have learned from the development of the RMG sector and apply it elsewhere.”

Arif Khan, CEO & Managing Director of IDLC Finance was also present at the event. He said they are very proud to be a part of this project and also said, “IDLC believes that the future of Bangladesh depends on the development of the startup ecosystem. IDLC is proud to be a part of this development.”

Sonia Bashir Kabir, Managing Director for Microsoft Bangladesh, was excited about the film and said, “Bangladesh is a Sleeping Giant. It was very important to let everyone know the story of this Sleeping Giant and Startup Dhaka has brought up that story through their documentary. This documentary will convey the infinite potential of Bangladesh to the whole world.”

This sequel to the original Startup Dhaka documentary took a year to complete. The first film, released in 2013, introduced and explained the emerging startup culture of Dhaka. Since then, Bangladesh’s startup culture has grown and matured; however, new challenges have surfaced.

When in Bangladesh, the value startups are creating is clear and visible. International institutional investors, however, have hardly an idea of Bangladesh itself, let alone the opportunities it has on offer. Startup Dhaka Part 2 not only showcases the success and maturity of Bangladesh’s contemporary startups but enlightens for an international audience the positive economic indicators of Bangladesh.

The film shows various interviewees and ecosystem players sharing their experiences and showing Bangladesh as a country of opportunity. The claims are supported by factual economic indicators and growth data that are not articulated often enough to form a strong Bangladesh position. The documentary, with the support of its stakeholders and the friends of Startup Dhaka, promotes Bangladesh as an investment destination and a place to take a bet on the digital economy.

Tina Jabeen, Deputy Project Director (ICT Innovation), iDEA Project was excited about the role that Startup Dhaka is playing for the Bangladesh startup ecosystem. She said, “Startup Dhaka’s attempt at pioneering the development of a startup ecosystem is essential and commendable, to say the least.”

Mustafizur Rahman Khan, CEO of Startup Dhaka said, “It has been a tremendous undertaking to tell a story that not only captures the country’s startup progress, but captures people’s imaginations about Bangladesh as well. We hope our attempt to convey new opportunities in Bangladesh and its digital economy helps usher in more investors and interest from here and abroad.”

He also mentioned his gratitude to the almost 100 people who directly and indirectly contributed to the film. He gave special thanks to the interviewees who participated and who took the time to tell the story of their Bangladesh. The film is sponsored by a presenting sponsor, IDLC Finance, and a supporting sponsor, Microsoft. The film premiere was hosted by Startup Bangladesh. The Startup Dhaka team expressed their gratitude for the support of the three organizations. 

The full documentary, Startup Dhaka Part 2

 

REDEFINING FLAGSHIP PARADIGMS WITH XIAOMI’S NEW POCOPHONE F1

Turns out, in case of Xiaomi’s new flagship phone, the oddly named Pocophone F1 (known as Poco F1 in certain regions), is pretty much all of the above. Including the ludicrous price tag. However, the price is ludicrous for all the opposite reasons – unlike every other flagship device on the market, the base model of the F1 is priced at a mere USD 300, equivalent to around BDT 25,000 at current exchange rates.

Sure, times are a-changing, and it’s possible to get a lot more phone for your buck currently than it was even a couple of years ago. What passed for flagship specifications back then is now barely mid-range (well, considering the overall gamut), and it can be had for a relatively paltry sum of money, while being formidable enough to fulfill much of your needs. That should not really come as a surprise, because that’s how technology works. With every new generation, processors keep getting faster, cameras keep getting better, new manufacturing techniques get developed that help cut down production costs, and so on.

However, with all that being said, the Pocophone F1 still manages to be a true-blue game-breaker. In a manner of speaking, it is repeating the feat that the OnePlus One pulled off in 2014 by creating an affordable phone with high-end specs. The F1 takes things up a notch by moving the price point even lower, and giving a lot more power to the people in exchange for their hard-earned money.

At first glance, the F1 doesn’t look particularly extraordinary. Instead of going with fancy materials, Xiaomi has gone with the more practical option of polycarbonate plastic for the chassis. Sure, it doesn’t look as dazzling as a glass-and-metal combination tends to do, but it doesn’t look particularly cheap either, and it definitely holds up better against the wear and tear of everyday use, up to and including bumps and drops. Interestingly, the higher-tier 256 GB version of the F1 comes with a kevlar-coated back, that not only offers extra protection, but also looks quite exotic. The back of the phone houses the dual-lens rear camera system, as well as the device’s super-responsive fingerprint sensor.

The 5.99-inch screen is encased in the much-lauded Corning Gorilla Glass, making it quite resistant to impacts and scratches. The 1080p display is an IPS LCD one, not an OLED-type, but its pixel density is crisp, its color reproduction is vivid and accurate, and it is quite legible even in brighter environments. The only downsides of the display are the clumps of lost pixels caused by the rounded corners and the big notch on top which houses the earpiece, the front camera and an infrared sensor (used for the device’s Face Unlock option). The notch has become a bit of a fashionable feature in modern times ever since Apple introduced one in the iPhone X, but it continues to remain ugly and ungainly-looking, not to mention an example of lazy design. Thankfully, the display has an 18:9 aspect ratio, which means it’s great for reading long stretches of content and watching regular widescreen 16:9 video without losing any pixels because of the notch.

The CPU is the real star of the Pocophone F1’s feature set. Rather than going with a mid-range CPU, the F1 boasts the latest and greatest Snapdragon 845 from Qualcomm, a very powerful chip that has not only received critical acclaim from users everywhere but has also managed to make its way to certain laptops. The 845 is a stellar performer when all its stops are pulled out, resulting in a smooth and lag-free user experience across the board, but it displays admirable levels of efficiency at other times, resulting in long battery life. Furthermore, it is also paired with an Adreno 630 GPU that can handle pretty much any Android game thrown at it, and an excellent LTE modem that ensures high speeds over 4G data networks.

Speaking of battery life, the F1 has a gigantic 4,000 mAh battery that can easily last over a day with regular use, and can even pull the device through two days if used a bit sparingly. The battery is charged via the USB-C port of the phone, and it also supports fast charging via Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology, gaining 75% of charge in only about an hour.

Even the entry-level model of the Pocophone F1 manages to amaze users and critics alike, with 6 GB of RAM (on par with high-end phones) and 64 GB of storage (which is the current market standard for mid-range devices nowadays). The higher-tier model of the F1 has a whopping 8 GB of RAM and a mind-blowing 256 GB of storage. In the case of both devices, the storage can be augmented further by up to 256 GB using a microSD card.

The device’s front and camera units are both brilliant performers, and while they are still handily outclassed by the cameras of ultra-premium flagship devices, considering the price of the phone, it’s shocking how good the pictures manage to look, especially under more favorable lighting conditions.

The F1 runs Xiaomi’s MIUI-flavored Android 8.1 Oreo, but it manages to deliver an experience fairly close to stock Android – at least in terms of looks – through the Poco Launcher environment. While stock Android would have been preferable, the device nonetheless manages to perform quite well, and numerous updates have been promised over the months to come, including Android 9 Pie.

With the law of diminishing returns in heavier effect than ever, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that the extra bells and whistles offered by a high-end flagship (such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 or the Apple iPhone XS Max), with subtle performance advantages, premium materials, and minor gimmicky additions, is not worth paying three or four times the amount one would pay for a phone like the Pocophone F1. Sure, for certain people, money is no object, and they would gladly shell out the extra coin for sheer bragging rights that can only come from owning a device that doubles as a fashion statement. However, for the masses who prefer function over form, and who value their money, there is the F1. And by having come to exist, it has issued a challenge to the market that Xiaomi’s competitors will scramble to meet. And as it happened after the launch of the OnePlus One four years ago, the winners would ultimately be the consumers.

 

Dave McCaughan
Chief Strategy Officer, Ai.agency
Co-Founder, Marketing Futures

MARKETING IS ABOUT GROWTH, NOT MESSAGING

Did I grab your attention? Then thanks for taking the next few moments to understand my thoughts on what will matter in marketing. Whether you do read the rest of this article or not, please go on to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. and “Like” my page so you can feed my ego, and I can use that as proof of my brand value. See my links below for easy access to my brand. Of course my brand is me.

Facetious??!! NO. Just a reflection of what I see too often disguised as “effective marketing tips for the future”.

DO NOT get carried away with terms like “social”, “influencer”, “digital”, “cause”, “mobile” …… (the list is endless) when these are prefixes to “marketing”. That is exactly NOT the way to look at these tools. Because they are only tools. Part of a wide range that you may choose to use to communicate and all are really just the current faddish way to express marketing basics that have always been true. Yes, marketers were using social media and mobile strategies long before smart phones were invented.

The role of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) will not change. If they are doing their job. Please remember that they are not communications managers. They should have someone in charge of communication. And they and their staff should have opinions about the tools that are available in messaging and which are important whether they deciding on influencers or celebrity endorsement, using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics or outdoor signage, changing packs or moving to on-line platforms for sales. What marketers WILL have to continue to do is focus on their key role as growth managers. Finding out what is important in people’s lives and then positioning their products and services in such a way that they answer those needs and create a bond that goes beyond functionality so that people want to continue to consume. That is called brand building and business growth.

So now you are asking “what should I be doing then?”. Here are THREE things that will make a difference to marketers:

Tip No.1
CLEVER COPYING: read “Copy, Copy, Copy” by Mark Earls. It and similar books and articles make it clear that smart marketers are not going to struggle to be totally original because they realize that is nearly impossible. Instead constantly stay up to date with what is happening in yours and similar markets, borrow ideas and adapt them to your own situation. Spend more time studying the history of your own and similar categories for ideas, look at what is happening in similar markets and see what you can adapt or adopt. New tools like blockchain will become important quickly. Nobody will own them just as no one brand “owns” how best to use Facebook. Look widely, learn deeply and adapt cleverly should be your marketing mantra.

Tip No.2
GETTING THE NARRATIVE RIGHT: prioritize research into the narrative that will make a difference. Don’t spend so much time looking for what is trending, the supposed differences between young people today, or the what is the hottest tactic on social media. Instead spend your time and money doing research in to understanding which narratives really matter to people and why and attach your brand to the one that is likely timeless. Look for research techniques that will look across all the available information people are faced with and are able to look for the trends you may not recognize. Automated tools like Significancesystems.com, that I work with, offer the ability to re-think and re-organize everything on the internet to understand what matters. The strongest brands are those that stick to a clear narrative that they have found focuses on a real connection. New research technologies are allowing us to plot which narratives matter, the emotions they are driving, the types of content and media used to project them. Then more traditional research can be better used to fine tune how you tell the right narrative to the right audience.

Tip No.3
PEOPLE FOCUS: think about individuals not cohorts. The golden hope of marketers has always been one-to-one marketing. That is still a long way off. However, we should also now be well ahead of talking such silliness as “millennials are like this ….” Or “the younger generation is very different”. The idea of generational cohort sameness was a bad product of the 1980s (the launch of a the novel “Generation X”) that has just stuck around because it is lazy thinking. In truth young people today as a whole have much in common with young people of 20, 40, 60 years ago. They are young, discovering new fads and technologies but still wanting the same old things like being cool, on-trend, being taken seriously, wanting to be happy. The difference is that with today’s technologies we can understand better that there are never “big block” targets like “millennials” but myriad smaller groups and segments that allow us to appeal to people more personally.

HOW DO I GET TO UNDERSTAND THE OBVIOUS QUESTION? Of course a good marketer will have to spend more time than ever “in the marketplace”. Doing more visits to homes, retailers places where people live and breath including more time visiting where people spend time on screens. But individual marketers can not be everywhere so they need to be doing more research. The trends here are clear:

More time getting well trained ethnographers to look at all aspects of your targets lives and interactions with your category
Take the time to explore the use of machine learning tools: tools that just give you a better understanding of how particular platforms and mediums are used (e.g. make sure you are trained to use Google analytics) and also tools like Significancesystems.com that go much further in understanding the context and connection between everything on the internet.

Get yourself and/or your team to leading edge events that will inform you what is making a difference. For example join me at IIeX Asia (Insights and Innovation Exchange) in Bangkok on November 28-29 to hear from experts across the region on what they are learning that can change your future marketing practice www://iiex-ap.insightinnovation.org/home

Think about marketing as “how can I find the best positioning for what I have to sell” and you will be fine.

Oh and as I said “like” me on FB, Linkedin etc … it will do nothing really for sales but will make me feel good.

ASUS Bangladesh today announced VivoBook S15 (S530), a stylish and lightweight Windows 10 laptop designed for the young, and the young at heart. ASUS is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies, and is dedicated to creating products for today and tomorrow’s smart life.

The new Vivobook S530 features bold color-blocking designs, with five vibrant color options and several textured finishes that let users fully express their personalities. The ErgoLift hinge replicates the feel of typing on a desktop keyboard for more comfortable typing, while the new three-sided NanoEdge display design provides an immersive viewing experience. The VivoBook S15 is powered by up to an 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor, with NVIDIA® GeForce® MX150 discrete graphics. The laptop also features dual-storage design.

Bold is beautiful
VivoBook S15 has done away with boring laptop colors, opting instead for striking hues that catch the eye. ASUS designers have added a dash of style and personality to personal computing, adopting a color-blocking approach by pairing bright and bold colors for laptops that visually pop. These laptops are available in Firmament Green, Star Grey, Silver Blue, Gun Metal, and Icicle Gold. Firmament Green features a textured woven finish surrounding the keyboard, while Icicle Gold sports a brushed finish with diamond-inspired motifs. In addition to their color-blocking designs, S15 features the innovative ErgoLift hinge to make long typing stints more comfortable. This unique design automatically tilts the keyboard by 3.5° when the laptop is opened to create the familiar feel of a desktop keyboard. The hinge also opens up extra ventilation space for more airflow around the underside of the chassis for improved cooling.

All-around performance
VivoBook S15 is powered by up to 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processors with 8GB RAM and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 discrete graphics to make light work of multitasking, multimedia editing, or casual gaming. S15 has a dual-storage design that provides users with the blistering data speeds of its up 1 TB HDD, up to 256GB SSD and even HDD with SSHD option.
For uncompromising wireless connectivity, the new and exclusive ASUS Wi-Fi Master technology reduces interference to ensure faster and more reliable dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi connections at extreme distances. Its top speed of up to 867Mbps is 6X faster than 802.11n for seamless video-streaming, smooth web-surfing and lag-free gaming.

NanoEdge display for unrivaled immersion
VivoBook S15 is the first in the VivoBook Series to feature the new three-sided NanoEdge design that has even narrower bezels along the top and sides of the display. This gives S15 an 86% screen-to-body ratio for unrivaled immersion in a much more compact package. The panels also feature wide-view technology and exceptional color reproduction for lifelike visuals even when viewed from extreme positions.

The extremely portable S15 is smaller than other laptops in their class, with profiles that taper to just 18mm at their thinnest point. The 15.6-inch S15 weighs only 1. 8kg.The laptop can easily slip into a messenger bag or backpack.

Convenient computing
Accessing VivoBook has never been easier or more secure. An optional fingerprint sensor built into the touchpad provides one-touch access with Windows Hello. VivoBook S15 has a full-size keyboard that perfect for working in dim environments. It’s ergonomically designed with a sturdy one-piece construction and 1.4mm key travel for a comfortable typing experience.
S15 offers comprehensive connectivity, including the reversible USB Type-C™ (USB-C™) port with the any-way-up design to make connecting devices as easy as possible. USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 delivers data transfer speeds that are up to 10 times faster than older USB 2.0 connections. In addition, these laptops also feature USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A and USB 2.0 ports, HDMI output, and a microSD card reader for hassle-free compatibility with current peripherals, displays, and projectors.

All VivoBooks now feature a high-quality battery with all-day battery life and a lifespan that’s up to 3X-longer than standard lithium-ion batteries. Fast-charge technology enables users to charge a low battery to 60% in as little as 49 minutes. Integrated ASUS Battery Health Charging technology also makes for a safer charging experience, with measures designed to decrease the battery expansion rate during charging to help ensure the battery stays in good condition.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING
ASUS VivoBook S15 will be available from the first week of October, nationwide in Bangladesh. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information. The price of ASUS Vivobook S530 starts from 47,000 BDT.

 

ADVICES FOR ASPIRING SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS

By Saif Rashid

In the last 10 years, social entrepreneurs around the world have been the major catalysts in bringing social change by working alongside governments, NGOs and the private sector. But what really brings the concept ‘social entrepreneurship’ to the frontline? Perhaps it’s the practical use of market-driven strategies that has placed social entrepreneurs as the pioneers in tackling critical social solutions. Be it non-profit, for-profit or hybrid enterprise platforms, social entrepreneurs have promoted a broad range of solutions focused on ‘systemic change’.

The real supremacy of social entrepreneurs is defined by the skill in identifying market failures and in tailoring and implementing solutions. Yet when you talk to any social entrepreneur in our community, they often describe their entrepreneurship impact as a “small drop in the ocean”. In Bangladesh the field is increasingly receiving more attention as more and more social entrepreneurs are moving back to Bangladesh from abroad, and our sector is excelling at launching initiatives for the betterment of the community.

Nevertheless, most enterprises are not growing at the required pace to meet the escalating problems. Hence, we are losing experienced and talented social entrepreneurs- who are exiting this sector due to frustration when the social sector needs them the most. Unfortunately, we have reached an era where we are confronted by a rising tide of crises – environmental catastrophe, migration, population growth, food security, nationalism and technological advances that require new skills and system level solutions. As the complexity and depth of the social issues rise, we need these talented and matured social entrepreneurs more than ever before. For any aspiring social entrepreneurs, the following points will help determine their success in the sector:

1. FOCUSING ON THE PROBLEM: Whatever sector you are in and whatever problem you are solving; all the activities we are doing is about improving the lives of people. It’s not about me and it’s not about my problems. It’s very easy to get distracted on the way. And we have so many reasons to get distracted. In our journey we have more pain than pleasure and thus we always need to remember that we are here to make other lives better and we need to get energy and aspirations from that.

2. YOU ARE PART OF THE SYSTEM: Remember the system we are operating in is global now. The problems we are tackling are not local any more. Whatever problem you are tackling- large or small – are part of a large system and the reason is that the system is not efficient to serve. Our journey is thus very long, and to an extent you need to work closely with the system. It can be politics, ideology, mindset, norms that you need to fight with to ensure that the flows are taken care of. To do that you need to be fluid and strong at the same time.

3. IGNORE NEGATIVITY: There is no end to naysayers and you will often be labeled as naïve or a dreamer. And even when your enterprise is doing well, there will be those who will criticize you. But then there will also be lots of people who will just praise you. You should remember that it’s your race and you shouldn’t listen to people who drain your energy. Don’t listen to people who are cynical.

Ignore the cowards and do what you love. Find a mentor, develop a fellow’s ecosystem and seek advice. The storytelling ability one has, must be expanded to reflect the full spectrum of challenges and inspirations to support the entrepreneur’s ecosystem if we are to drive unprecedented large-scale change.

4. YOUR DETERMINATION IS THE KEY: The problem you are addressing might seem very small or very large initially. You will not get the real picture unless you roll up your sleeves and start addressing them. You will see the complexity and depth of it as you start to further explore the problem. Don’t underestimate how much courage you need to solve a problem nor should you underestimate how much courage you have. Trust your capability and start working. The moment you are committed to doing something is when the fruits of your efforts start to materialize. It is almost as if the universe conspires to make sure achieve it if you are determined.

5. DON’T GIVE UP: While it is easier said than done, it is imperative that you get back up if you are knocked down. Remember that anything worth achieving does not comes easy.
Last month I was attending several important gatherings of social entrepreneurs around the world starting with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Exo Live Global Innovators summit which is an innovation program of Expo 2020 Dubai and lastly Metlife foundation’s Inclusion Plus Innovators Summit in New York. By networking and traveling I quickly realized that all social entrepreneurs operate with the mindset of trying to better the community. This piece is a compilation of my reflections from these events on what my fellow social entrepreneurs shall focus on to shape a great future for the world.

*The Writer is the founder and Managing Director of Apon Wellbeing Ltd., a social enterprise dedicated to improving the economic status of 4.2 million working people.